Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ravelry Swap on a Budget

YohoPaulette was my spoiler in this swap and she certainly spoiled me in this swap.

I opened this box that smelled wonderful because one of the items in the box was Patchouli incense. I know I'm dating myself with I mention incense, but I love candles and incense and I love Patchouli. I grew up in the 70's.

In terms of yarn, I now understand the hub bub about Malbrigo sock yarn is all about. This yarn is sooooooooooooooo soft and I will be petting in appreciation this lovely skein in an Applewood colorway for quite a while before I knit it up into the perfect pair of socks. Paulette also dyed a skein of Knit Picks Merino wool for me in a lovely maroon to pink colorway. I will enjoy knitting with that yarn.

In addition to this wonderful yarn and incense, I received some ice tea mix for my water bottles, some peanut butter filled pretzels (which I learn I can get at my local CVS - it pays to read labels - these are yummy) and a lovely denim tote bag with RAVELRY embroidered on it that will be perfect for carrying smaller knitting projects.

Thanks Paulette, I love everything in this swap.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Sunrise

Now most everyone knows I'm not a 'morning' person. I am a night owl and prefer to stay up and burn the midnight oil. Well I have been challenging myself to see how the other half of the world lives, you know those folks who get up and follow the old Benjamin Franklin adage of "the early bird gets the worm." This morning I was up before the dawn. I made a pot of coffee and went out and sat on my porch. I then had to run back in and find my camera. This morning, because I was awake and enjoying the beauty of creation, was treated to this colorful sunrise.

The sunrise didn't last long before the clouds moved in and about an our later we got some rain that got the sidewalk wet.

It was a lovely peaceful morning and in addition to the lovely sunrise, I was treated to these really cool cloud formations. This is exactly why I love living in the Midwest.

Friday, August 22, 2008

First Year Blog Anniversary - 50th Post

Today is the FIRST YEAR anniversary of this blog and this is also the 50th post to this blog. The theme of cleaning out has been prevelant for this first year of this blog and I believe that it will continue to be a theme in my life during the second year of this blog. It is interesting to note that I spent a good deal of the day today cleaning out all kinds of stuff. I cleaned the 'pastor's' closet at the church today. I then came home and posted 33 books on Half.com where I sell as AnCGentry. I also list on Amazon Marketplace. Here is a link to my Amazon Marketplace inventory. I may post some more tonight as I am working on reducing the size of the library. These are books that made their way into my life over the past 20 years but just don't have a meaningful purpose in my life anymore. Actually as I look over the the 'stuff' we've accumulated, most of it, if it were wiped out, wouldn't be missed. That is the nature of 'stuff.'

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Books n' More Yarn Swap

This is the second time I participated in the Books n' More Yarn Swap on Ravelry. My spoiler was in Great Britain and sent me some love treats from the UK. The Yarn I received in this swap is genuine Shetland Wool. I hasn't been dyed so she sent me some Kool Aid to dye the yarn with. I've not tried dying my own yarn so I am going to have a new experience soon. I received Easter Egg dye in the Summer of Yarn Love Swap so I will have to try my hand at dying yarn next time I take some time off for me.

My Books n' More swap package had the book Bag Style, along with the fore mentioned yarn. There is enough yarn to make the Needle Bag in the book, which is a really cool bag with a Knitting Needles as the frame.

What is really special about this package is the three Alan Dart patterns. Two for cats, and one for a Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. These patterns are really special because they are difficult to get in the US and they are from Alan Dart before his patterns became regularly published in Simply Knitting.

The hand made item in this package is a little teddy bear and he is just precious.

There was also a lovely batik tote bag (I love tote bags), some Tetly Green Tea with Lemon, Shortbread biscuits (cookies) - which are also personal favorites, two cute little tea lite candles, and three fun size candy bars. Oh and who can forget the fun size 15 Knitting Needles with a cool design on the needle.

Jacqui this was a great package and I thank you so much as this arrived at time when things are going a little tough with some tough decisions being made in my life and lifted my spirits very much. Thank You!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Virtues of Bran Muffins - Classic Joke that always makes me smile

OK it came in the email again today, the classic bran muffin joke. I know it by heart, I can tell it. I've passed it along to friends over the years, yet every time I hear it or read it, it makes me smile.

Since this is a blog with muffin in the title, this joke seems appropriate. Sooooo here it is.

The couple was 85 years old, and had been married for sixty-five years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies.

Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet.

They gasped in astonishment when he said, 'Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.'

The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. 'Why, nothing,' Peter replied, 'remember, this is your reward in Heaven.'

The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth.
'What are the greens fees?,' grumbled the old man.

'This is heaven,' St. Peter replied. 'You can play for free, every day.'

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic desserts, free flowing beverages.

'Don't even ask,' said St. Peter to the man. This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.'

The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife.

'Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods, and the decaffeinated tea?,' he asked.
'That's the best part,' St. Peter replied. 'You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!'

The old man pushed, 'No gym to work out at?'

'Not unless you want to,' was the answer.

'No testing my sugar or blood pressure or...'
'Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.'

The old man glared at his wife and said, 'You and your bran muffins.. We could have been here ten years ago!'

Four Seasons Yarn Swap - Summer

I've been a funk lately so it was nice to arrive home on Saturday from Sip Sit and Stitch, my knitting group, to find this wonderful package from Robin (Fiber Bloopers) waiting for me from the Four Seasons Yarn Swap - Summer swap. The Ice Blue wool yarn is wonderful and I am now in search of the perfect pattern. Nine skeins of Sugar in Cream cotton in a variety of colors and textures. A wonderful book on Crochet Lace, not to work up my crochet skills to actually be able to make some of the projects in the book. Not pictured is a book marker with SUNFLOWERS on it. The poncho book which has patterns to crochet for kids (I have a new great niece that I think needs a poncho up in Moorhead, MN) and of course the elixir of life...or at least being awake for life...coffee. I was just about out of beans so this arrived just in time.

Here's a picture of my package...with many thanks to Robin for her generosity and making my day and getting me out of funk.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rental Cars

This past weekend DH and I took a road trip to Northfield, Minnesota for my great nephew’s wedding. My car doesn’t have cruise control and DH’s truck is getting up in miles so we thought a rental car was in order. Usually rental cars work well for us, but this one for some particular reason was not our best rental experience.
It was a Dodge Avenger and the windows were small. I kinda felt like it was a gangster car. The car rental place didn’t clean the car very well. We found someone else’s soda bottle in one of the dash board compartments when we made our first fuel stop…yuck!

We did take this cool picture of horses during this fuel stop and that was one of the redeeming factors from the day.

What we really didn’t like about the rental car was how uncomfortable this car was. It had no lumbar support and the seats were stiff and just not comfortable for a road trip of 8 hours. SO I know not to even look at this particular model when I am shopping for a new car in few years. Oh and the car looks angry…I guess that’s why they named it Avenger.

Because I don’t like to say something bad without pointing out the good in things, I will say I did enjoy the Sirius satellite radio.

The car went back to the rental agency today. I told them about the vehicle. I’m grateful the car got me to the wedding and back, I am grateful that car didn’t break down, and I’m grateful that I know that this is not the car for me. See even a ‘bad’ experience can be a good thing!

Summer of Yarn Love - August Package Received - Thank you Secret Spoiler

Wow have I been spoiled in the Summer of Yarn Love Swap.

My secret spoiler Timiae (Spinkintup) sent me this wonderful package

Timiae has been my spoiler and she has outdone herself. In this final package I have received a lovely card that I can display at my office that has the scriptures on it that was made by another crafter.

I also have new gnome for my collection, which I have named Bubba.

A new coffee mug with lovely photos of yarn, wonderful yarn on it.

Two packages of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (both sugar free and regular)

Cat Borhdi's book on knitting socks on two circular needles and two circular knitting needles from Knit Picks, which I have been wanting to try. I have also wanted to learn this technique and the book looks great.

And finally a skein of superwash sock yarn ready to be dyed with the easter egg dye. I'll hold off on dyeing the yarn as treat for a task I have looming over my head, but it will also be incentive to get the that task completed.

Thank you so much Timiae. I love everything in this package too!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Gaggle of Geese

These photos illustrate the reasons why I have started to carry my digital camera everywhere with me. We were driving out of the un-named fast food restaurant to begin our weekend road-trip to my great-nephew's wedding quite early on August 1st (let's just say it was before 6:30 am). We had to wait for this lovely gaggle of geese to cross the road. Of course we blocked the other traffic coming out of the fast food restaurant so we could get this photo (when I looked back into the rear view mirror) there were four cars in line wanting to pull out, and rush off to their jobs or errands or whatever else that could not wait a few minutes on a lovely morning. Nothing could have been so important as not to enjoy the peacefulness of these geese as they leisurely walked across the road. It was the start of a great day.

Wind Farms in Iowa

On August 1st, DH and I took a road trip to see my family in Minnesota. My great-nephew Brandon is getting married today. Well we rented a car and I'll be writing a post on our experiences with our rental car later.

DH and I are really big supporters of alternative energy sources and we try to leave a low carbon foot print in most things that we do so the idea of wind energy, especially in the Midwest, where wind is so much a part of the landscape, warms our hearts.

We were truly excited to see a couple of wind farms along Interstate 35 in Iowa and took some pictures from our moving vehicle of these wind farms. Depending on how well they enlarge and print, I think one of these may even be framed and find a place on the wall in our home.

I only regret not getting the shots of the blades on the flatbeds as we drove through Des Moines.